Mary Lucile Crowe

Mary Lou Crowe

Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)
Mary Lou L. Crowe
Born 1920s.
Ancestors ancestors
Sister of [private sister (unknown - unknown)], and [private brother (1920s - unknown)]
Descendants descendants
Mother of [private daughter (1940s - unknown)], [private daughter (1940s - unknown)], , [private daughter (1950s - unknown)], and
Died 2010s.
Profile last modified | Created 12 Jan 2011
This page has been accessed 514 times.

Mary Lucile Crowe (Mary Lou) was born on November 6, 1925 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her parents were Harold J. and Lucile Crowe. They lived at 1337 Tabor Street at the time. [1]

In 1930, Mary Lou was 4 years old. She had an older sister, older brother, and a younger brother. Her father, Harold Crowe, worked as an auto mechanic and the family was living at 1637 Raymond Street in Indianapolis. It was a rental home and they paid $32.50 per month for rent.

The family moved to 2435 S. State Street in 1933 and stayed there until 1939.[1]

In 1940, the family moved to 2133 Madison Avenue [2] and remained there until 1941. Then they lived at 839 Weghorst Street.[3] In January 1942, they lived at 520 Bacon Street.[4] And sometime during the year, they moved to 1249 Morgan Drive.[5]

Mary Lou attended grammar school at St. Catherine Catholic School in Indianapolis, Indiana. [6][7]

Sister Marie Bernadette (teacher AND principal) signed her Certificate of Promotion to “first year.” She graduated from eighth grade on June 11, 1939 by her “proficiency in scholarship and integrity of character.” [8]

Mary Lou attended Junior High at Charles E. Emmerich Manual Training High School from 1939 to 1940 (apparently only 9th grade was considered Junior High). The first portion of the year, from September 1939 through January 1940, she attended classes in literature, composition, history, Latin, foods (?), physical education, and health & safety. Gramma was a fairly decent student. Not straight As, but she didn’t miss a day.[9]

Note they did not have a telephone. Mary Lou's father worked as an auto mechanic during this time, earning about $150 per month. They lived in a rented home and paid $20 each month for that. With four children between the ages of 13 and 18, the country just crawling out from the depression, and WWII bearing down, money was probably spread a little too thin to spend it on something as frivolous as a telephone.

The second half of the year, “foods” was replaced with “clothing,” but everything else remained the same. History grades improved as did health & safety, but Latin suffered a hit.[10]

Mary Lou attended Emmerich Manual Training High School in Indianapolis from 10th grade (1940) to 12th grade (1943). The school itself was enormous. As beautiful as the building is, I can’t imagine attending school there – I would surely get lost! This is a current picture of the building that used to house the school. It moved to a newer (ugly) building around 1953.[11]

During her first official year of high school, Mary Lou took the standard courses of literature, composition, algebra, physical education, but also took Latin, shorthand, typing, and (again) health & safety. She did well with the shorthand, but the typing … not so much. She didn’t miss one day of school.[12] [13]

Her second year of high school was pretty much the same as the first, again with no missed days.[14] [15]

I note the addition of U.S. History and “Business Training” and the absence of Latin, P.E., health & safety, and algebra. I also note that her grades improved somewhat – even typing starting improving the last half of the year!

Her Senior Year in high school appears to have been much easier with fewer, perhaps easier, classes.[16] [17]

As is common in high school, there was a dance at the school (maybe prom, I’m not sure) during Mary Lou’s senior year. This is where she met THE ONE.

John Joseph Gallagher was in the Army and happened to be on leave in Indianapolis with an Army buddy. His buddy invited him to come with him to his old high school one evening. He said they were having a dance and he was going to see some of his old friends. My grandfather agreed. But he had grown up in Ridgefield, New Jersey – where they only had one high school – so he didn’t think to ask his friend which high school. As fate would have it, my grandfather accidentally showed up at Emmerich on the same night my grandmother was attending the dance.

Mary Lou was recognized for her efforts throughout high school with a certificate for perfect attendance for all four years.[18]

Mary Lou’s education culminated on June 9, 1943 when she graduated from high school.[19]

It was only 1-1/2 years after she graduated high school that Mary Lou married John Joseph Gallagher. They were wed on 20 January 1945 at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Indianapolis by the Reverend Ronald J. Hostetter.[2][3]

The missal contained the “script” for the wedding mass. It also contained a list of witnesses and a certificate signed by the priest.[20]

The witnesses that signed Mary Lou’s missal were:

Walter W. Gallagher (John’s adopted father)
Jeannette [Crowe] Tritch (Mary Lou’s sister)
Shirley Slye
Bette Cross
Mary Desleth S.H.
Harold J. Crowe, Sr. (Mary Lou’s father)
Lucile F. [Stiker] Crowe (Mary Lou’s mother)
Ruth L. [Burrows] Gallagher (John’s adopted mother)
Robert R. Stiker
Melvin R. Herbig
Olive L. [Crowe] Bartlowe (Mary Lou’s aunt)
Eunice R. Slye

I have indicated those witnesses whose relationship to my grandparents is known to me. I’m pretty sure that Shirley Slye, Eunice Slye, Bette Cross, and Mary Desleth are all friends of my grandmother’s – and two of them may have been her bride’s maids, along with her sister Jeannette.

According to family lore, John’s best man was essentially a stranger (possibly Melvin R. Herbig). The story goes that the family had to go door-to-door around the neighborhood to find a best man because nearly all the men in town were off fighting in the War.

The couple settled down at 651 Virgil Avenue in Ridgefield, Bergen, New Jersey, and John began working as a police officer for the Ridgefield Police Department. His adopted father, Walter Gallagher, was the Chief of Police.

On 19 June 1947, they would celebrate the arrival of their first child … a daughter! On 20 February 1949, they welcomed not one, but TWO more girls into the family! This is my mom and her twin sister. Just over a year later, on 18 April 1950, yet another girl was born to the happy couple.

Two years later, the family moved three doors down and across the street to 660 Virgil Avenue. About this time is when John said “We’ve got too many girls. Let’s change hospitals.” And on 10 January 1954, in Hackensack, New Jersey, they finally had a boy.

The last child, [Gallagher-119|Thomas Paul Gallagher]] (also born in Hackensack) was born on 1 January 1958. He passed away in 1996 at the age of 38 from acquired leukemia.

In 1960, John bought a bus for $600 and they fixed it up for traveling. And travel they did. In August 1962, the newspaper even wrote about the “Gallaghers on the Go”[21]

On November 7, 1962, John resigned from the Ridgefield Police Department,[4] and the bus was sold to a gentleman who wanted to use it for his hunting lodge up north (possibly in Maine or Canada), and the family relocated to Naples, Florida, to try their hand at hotel ownership.

They owned the Motel Iris. It had 10 units and for a while, the 4 girls lived in the two connecting family units. When they finally needed the rooms for guests, the girls had to move into the house behind the motel. The girls washed the sheets for all the rooms using nothing but a wringer washing machine.

After about three months, when he realized they weren’t going to make a go of it at the motel business, John went to Miami to find work. All told, the family spent about 9 months in Naples.

In 1963, the family moved to 9010 SW 197th Street in Miami. John worked as a guard for Pinkerton and then sold insurance for Life of Virginia Insurance.

By 1968, all the girls had graduated from Palmetto High School. Sometime around the end of 1969 or beginning of 1970, the boys moved with my their parents to Kennesaw, Georgia, where they lived until 1974.

John passed away in 1990, and in 2005, Mary Lou remarried Don Diehl. Mary Lou passed away in Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida on 20 April 2013.[5]


  1. "Indiana, Birth Certificates, 1907-1940," database, Ancestry ( : downloaded 6 June 2016), Certificate of Birth for Mary Lucile Crowe, Local No. 6132, Registered No. 58888 (6 Nov 1925); Indiana State Board of Health; Birth Certificates 1907-1940, microfilm. Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana; Roll 24.
  2. Wedding Missal, Mary Lucile Crowe [Gallagher] Collection; privately held by Jenny Lanctot, [address for private use], Chattanooga, Tennessee, 2015. List of witnesses and marriage certificate signed by priest in wedding missal carried during wedding. Inherited from Mary Lucile Crowe.
  3. John J Gallagher and Mary Lou Crowe, (20 January 1945), Marion County Marriage Records: no. 89297; Marion County Clerk's Office, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  4. Letter of Resignation, 7 Nov 1962, privately held by Jenny Lanctot [address for private use], Chattanooga, Tennessee, 2015.
  5. Tallahassee. Department of Vital Statistics. Florida Department of Health. Death certificate.

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